Relive our “Destination America” event, in collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art & SOLUNA Festival, exploring the lives of immigrants.
This May marked Oral Fixation’s second collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art and for this one we collaborated with SOLUNA International Music & Art Festival. The result was “Destination America”, an evening of stories from the mouths of immigrants and refugees. We are delighted to present these special stories to you now on video. Each video begins with an introduction to the storyteller by Monte Laster, who shot these intimate interviews with them in the Dallas Museum of Art as they discuss a personal connection that they have with a piece in the museum. Open your heart and experience the incredible power of the human spirit to endure and shine through even the most difficult of circumstances. Below is the entire playlist of the show. If you enjoy them, please share!
“Destination America,” Oral Fixation’s packed collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live and SOLUNA International Art & Music Festival, was a night to remember, celebrating the amazing endurance of the human spirit through the true stories of immigrants and refugees!
To start off the evening, youth guitar ensemble La Rondalla from Oak Cliff played a lively set. Then, SOLUNA resident artist Monte Laster presented a stunning film entitled Destinations, which featured each of the storytellers interacting with a work of art from the Dallas Museum of Art that resonated with their journey.
After surviving the war, Basil Sideris decided to visit America for a couple months. This week, he’ll take the Oral Fixation in “Destination America” to talk about why he decided to stay for good.
Basil Sideris is a spirited Greek from Tripoli, who moved to Dallas in 1955, where he went from cleaning tables to becoming a real estate entrepreneur in the city. Basil and his wife, Ann, are devoted residents of the Park Cities area of Dallas. They have two grown sons.
After receiving a death threat, Ghazwan Altaie fled his home country of Iraq. And this week, the former businessman will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about why he decided to become a humanitarian in “Destination America.”
Ghazwan Altaie is a humanitarian from Iraq, who works with the Collateral Repair Project, a grassroots effort to bring assistance to refugees and other victims of war. After spending 10 years as a refugee in Jordan, Ghazwan arrived in the United States in January, with his wife and three young children.
Though she grew up in extreme poverty, Zarni White is one of the most humble and cheerful persons you’ll ever meet. And this month, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to reveal some insights about growing up in a militarized state in “Destination America.”
Zarni Tun White was born in Shan State, Burma. In 2002, she won a scholarship and later graduated from the Myanmar Institute of Theology. She immigrated to the US in 2007 and started a career as a case worker helping refugee populations in Austin and Dallas. She currently lives in McKinney.
She always dreamed of pursuing higher education. And this month, Cecilia Lazcano will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about her assimilation into the U.S. to fulfill those dreams in “Destination America.”
Cecilia Lazcano is from Mexico City. She has a master’s degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders from UT Dallas. She is works for the Center for Children and Families at UT Dallas. She loves her family and enjoys working in the community with at-risk children and their families.
Though she came from a privileged background, Ho Chi Minh’s Communist Army stripped her family of everything it had. This month, the supremely brave Linh Matthews will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about her escape from Vietnam and a band of Thai pirates during her harrowing journey to the U.S. in “Destination America.”
Linh Matthews is a mother of two young boys. Every 10-13 years she’s lived on a different continent. She’s 100 percent Vietnamese, but considers herself super lucky to have French, American and British cultural influences. She loves to travel, dance and eat, from street food stalls to shi-shi restaurants.
His journey from “Lost Boy of Sudan” to American citizen was a long and hard one, but Peter Thiong’s father taught him from an early age that “beyond hardship is joy.” This month, he’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about the great hardships of his youth in “Destination America.”
Peter M. Thiong, one of the leaders of The Lost Boys of the Sudan, has called North Texas home for 14 years. Peter completed BS/AIM at UT Dallas, an MBA at Texas A&M-Commerce and studies Management and Science at DCCCD. He is a husband, father, homeowner, and employee at UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas.
In partnership with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival, Oral Fixation will collaborate in chronicling the immigrant experience with Texas-born multimedia artist Monte Laster, who has been producing socially conscious work outside Paris for the last 20 years.
Ghazwan Altaie, an Iraqi humanitarian who recently moved to Dallas after spending 10 years as a refugee in Jordan.
Cecilia Lazcano who, after developing anxiety in reaction to the economic crisis in Mexico City, received a full scholarship to complete her Masters in Dallas.
Vietnamese-born Linh Matthews, who, at age seven, boarded a pirate ship, then floated on a raft to a refugee camp in Thailand, before making her home in Highland Park.
Mexican-born Francisco Moreno, who will share how he has confronted his identity as an American immigrant through his work as a visual artist.
Basil Sideris, who was forced to flee his hometown of Tripoli during WWII to forage for food in rural Greece.
Burmese immigrant Zarni White who gives insight into life in a military state
And Peter Thiong, a former Lost Boy of Sudan who was forced to flee his home at age 12 and endure brutal life in a refugee camp in Kenya for a decade before making his home in Dallas.
Creator Nicole Stewart will be in attendance with the cast of storytellers before their May 6 “Destination America” show. Enjoy the always fantastic literary atmosphere at The Wild Detectives and learn how you can plug into this sizzling story-loving community as an audience member, a story-sharer or both!
At this *FREE* event, join us for a creative conversation about the editing process, excerpts from “Destination America” stories, testimonials from past storytellers, and a DRAWING FOR FREE TIX TO “Destination America” at Horchow Auditorium! Beverages (beer, wine, coffee & more) and light bites will be available for sale. RSVP on the Facebook event page now.
Don’t forget to get your tickets now for the “Destination America” show on Wednesday, May 6th, at Horchow Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now!
His family moved to America when he was in elementary school, after his father relocated for work. Since then, Francisco Moreno has learned to adapt to American culture without losing too much of his Mexican heritage in the process. And this month, he’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about how this balance affects the artwork he creates in “Destination America.”
Francisco Moreno was born in Mexico City in 1986, and moved to Arlington, Texas in 1992. In 2012 he graduated from the Masters in Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design with the prestigious Presidential Scholar Tuition award. Moreno’s work has been exhibited in New York City; Providence, Rhode Island; Stowe, Vermont; Concord, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.